England have nothing to fear against France, says Bukayo Saka
Raheem Sterling will rejoin England’s World Cup squad with the Three Lions continuing their preparation for what promises to be a massive quarter-final tie against France.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s name continues to dominate the headlines with his involvement for Portugal now likely reduced to a bench role ahead of the last eight match against Morocco.
Steve Holland has detailed the lengthy process surrounding how to combat the threat of the in-form Kylian Mbappe, who now leads the Golden Boot race.
Brazil kick off the quarter-finals on Friday when they face Croatia before Argentina take on the Netherlands in a tie dripping with history.
Follow the build-up to England vs France and the latest from Qatar below:
Cristiano Ronaldo role at World Cup ‘to be defined’, Portugal coach reveals
The 37-year-old was only named on the bench as Benfica forward Goncalo Ramos – who hit a hat-trick on his full debut to secure a comfortable 6-1 victory and set up a quarter-final clash with Morocco.
Jack Rathborn8 December 2022 10:20
‘I always knew I’d find form’: Harry Maguire repays Gareth Southgate’s faith with exemplary World Cup displays
To ward off the monotony that can build between games during the long weeks away at a major tournament, England’s players have been passing the time by trying their hand at Werewolf.
A murder strategy game based on lies and deception, those chosen as “wolves” have to kill off as many “villagers” as possible while the villagers have to detect and identify the wolves. One member of the squad has stood head and shoulders above the rest, revealing himself as something of a super sleuth. “I’m quite good at psychology, to be honest,” admits Harry Maguire. “I’ve needed to be over the last year or so.”
While Maguire puts his Werewolf prowess partly down to an analytical mind, it is mostly due to past experience. “I’ve played it before as well, I must say. When I was at Leicester, we played the game a lot and the more you play the game the more you see. You get to look at what people are doing, how they’re acting.”
Jack Rathborn8 December 2022 10:16
This World Cup has shown us the most important positon in football
The way Gregg Berhalter put it: “We lacked that offensive finishing quality.” As the United States tumbled out of the World Cup, it may have been a more diplomatic, distinctly American way of saying his side needed a striker.
They are not alone in that but Berhalter tried three in four games, attempted an interlude with a false nine, and got a solitary goal from a centre-forward: Haji Wright’s fluke of a finish against the Netherlands. “We don’t have a Memphis Depay right now,” the USA manager concluded.
Jack Rathborn8 December 2022 10:06
BREAKING: Raheem Sterling to return to England’s World Cup squad after burglary
The 27-year-old forward did not feature in Sunday’s last-16 win against Senegal due to concern over his family’s wellbeing after the break-in that left his partner Paige and their three children badly shaken.
Sterling returned to the UK but is now willing to travel back to Qatar, with additional security measures being worked through to assure his family’s safety.
The FA confirmed: “Raheem Sterling will return to England’s World Cup base in Qatar.
“The Chelsea forward temporarily left to attend to a family matter but is now expected to rejoin the squad in Al Wakrah on Friday (9 December) ahead of the quarter-final with France.”
Jack Rathborn8 December 2022 09:55
World Cup: The best moments so far from Messi magic and shock upsets to group stage drama
There have been moments of inspiration from star players, including Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe, as well as sublime team goals scored by the Netherlands and Brazil. England have also impressed and are the tournament’s top scorers heading into the quarter-finals, with Gareth Southgate’s side facing France on Saturday.
Morocco produced the result of the last-16 as they upset Spain on penalties, and will look to become the first African team to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup when they take on Portugal. Cristiano Ronaldo has already made history by becoming the first man to score in five World Cups, while Argentina look to be on a collision course with Brazil in what is Messi’s final World Cup.
Here are some of the best moments of the World Cup so far, as nominated by The Independent’s writers.
World Cup: The best moments so far
Amid controversy and continued human rights concerns surrounding Fifa and Qatar off the pitch, it’s been an exhilarating ride so far on it
Jack Rathborn8 December 2022 09:45
Enjoying the Qatar World Cup? Here is the reality hiding in plain sight
t is a description that was almost overlooked at the time, but that Qatar was highly attuned to, and warrants mention every day of this World Cup.
“Consultations and reports in Qatar reveal that racial and ethnic stereotypes operate in both the public and private spheres, according to which, for example, sub-Saharan African men are presumed to be unsanitary, sub-Saharan African women are presumed to be sexually available, and certain South Asian nationalities are presumed unintelligent.
“The Special Rapporteur received credible reports that, on the other hand, North Americans, Europeans and Australians are presumed superior, and whites in general are presumed to be inherently competent in various contexts, such as hiring and promotion decisions.”
Jack Rathborn8 December 2022 09:36
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